Sports World: Osaka through in Rome but Thiem out

Osaka through in Rome but Thiem out

ROME • World No. 1 Naomi Osaka yesterday eased into the third round of the WTA Italian Open with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova under the sunshine in Rome after the previous day's play was washed out.

It was the Japanese tennis player's fourth win in as many games against her world No. 33 opponent, who she also beat last week in Madrid. Osaka, who reached the last 16 in Rome for the first time, will play Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu in the next round.

But Austrian Dominic Thiem, world No. 4 and last year's French Open finalist, was dumped out by Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the final warm-up event before Roland Garros begins on May 26.


Knee injury forces skater Lee to quit

SEOUL • South Korea's double Olympic speed skating champion and reigning world record holder Lee Sang-hwa wept yesterday as she announced that a knee injury had forced her to hang up her skates.

The 30-year-old took gold in the 500m at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games for her country's first Olympic speed skating medal and repeated the feat four years later in Sochi.

She also set the current world record of 36.36sec at the International Skating Union World Cup in Salt Lake City in 2013.


Park aims to defend Olympic golf title

SEOUL • Former world No. 1 women's golfer Park In-bee has said she wants to defend her Olympic crown at next year's Tokyo Games after initially having doubts over whether she would compete.

The seven-time Major champion won the gold for South Korea at the 2016 Rio Games by five strokes from New Zealand's Lydia Ko to become the first Olympic women's golf champion in 116 years.

The top 15 players in the rankings automatically qualify for the Games, with a limit of four golfers per team, and Park is the third-ranked South Korean behind world No. 1 Ko Jin-young and world No. 3 Park Sung-hyun.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2019, with the headline 'Sports World'. Print Edition | Subscribe